Rwanda: Chinese CS/SH1 122mm howitzer in service with Rwandan army

Chinese-made CS/SH1 122mm 6x6 self-propelled howitzer is now in service with the Rwandan armed forces. December 11, 2018, a picture was released on the Flickr account of Rwanda President Paul Kagame press services showing the CS/SH1 122mm howitzer used by the Rwandan armed forces during a live firing military exercise held at the Gabiro Combat Training Centre in northeast Rwanda.

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Chinese-made CS/SH1 122mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer at Rwanda Defense Forces Combined Arms Field Training Exercise. Rwanda Gabiro, 11 December 2018. (Picture source Paul Kagame Flickr account)

The CS/SH1 also called PCL-09 in China is a 122mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer designed and manufactured by the Chinese Company Norinco. The armament of this artillery vehicle consists of one PL-96, a Chinese version of the Soviet-made 122mm D-30 howitzer mounted at the rear of 6x6 truck chassis. For its self-protection, a 12.7 mm machine can be mounted to the roof of the crew cabin.

The PCL-09 or CS/SH1 can fire at a maximum range of 22 km with a rate of fire of 8 rds/min and 27 km with rocket assisted projectile. The 122mm howitzer of the CS/SH1 can fire High Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG), cargo, incendiary, smoke, illumination, and all standard 122 mm ammunition used by the Russian D-30 howitzer.

Last year, another Chinese-made SH3 122mm tracked self-propelled howitzer was seen in service for the first time with the Rwandan Defence Force (RDF) during a similar field exercise.

The five largest arms suppliers in 2013–17 were the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China, and they accounted for 74 per cent of the total global volume of exports of major weapons. China has pursued longstanding military cooperation under the aegis of the fifty-five-state African Union (AU) and in September 2017 offered $100 million in military aid to fund the African Union Standby Force.

From 2013 to 2017, China’s arms exports to Africa surged 55 per cent from the previous five-year period of 2008 to 2012, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. China continues to increase its arms sales to Africa, in 2013 China has delivered main battle tanks to Tanzania and Chad according to the latest available data from the United Nation Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA).

Many other African countries have already purchase armored combat vehicles from China including Ghana, Namibia, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, Chad and Gabon.

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Chinese Army CS/SH1 122mm 6x6 wheeled self-propelled howitzer (Picture source China MoD)